Pandemic requires, Patrick Lavoie is back to his plan A, 17 years later.
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At the end of his 5e High school, the Saskatchewan Roughriders fullback registered in fire safety techniques at Campus Notre-Dame-de-Foy. Recruited by the Rouge et Or of Laval University and selected by the Alouettes in 2e round (11e in total) in 2012, Lavoie abandoned his plan A and turned to football, which was initially his plan B.
“I wanted to be a firefighter before I became a football player,” said the man who lifted the Gray Cup in 2016 in the Ottawa Rouge et Noir in a 39-33 overtime win over the Stampeders. Calgary, where he scored a touchdown. Since the age of 16, I have dreamed of being a firefighter. I’m really lucky that the transition is going so smoothly. The timing between the cancellation of the season in the CFL and the opening of a position is incredible. I am very lucky. I entered the training center on September 14th and 15th instead of having a two week training course and on September 18th I started at the barracks. “
Desire to learn
Hired by the City of Montreal’s fire department, Lavoie works at Fire Station 63 in Dorval.
“When I started out, I told the guys that it was a long way from CEGEP (2008) and asked them to be indulgent towards me, but that I was going to learn quickly, says the father of a little boy from 5 years old, and whose spouse is due to give birth to a baby girl on December 7th. I was lucky to come across a good barracks with good colleagues and a good captain.
“To keep control, I had taught the CNDF during the off season to future firefighters, to pursue the native of Sainte-Flavie, in Gaspésie. The profession has evolved a lot and several intervention techniques no longer have their place. Even if it required more work and that it represented an additional challenge, I am happy to see it because it shows that the community is not sitting on its laurels. It is a profession in movement and it is reassuring. “
Always the sting
The 6-foot-2, 242-pound fellow quickly realized he still had the sting.
“I have fun like a child in a candy store,” he says. On my first day of work, I felt the adrenaline rush and got the confirmation that this is the firefighter job I wanted to do for my post-career. I haven’t had a major surgery yet, but I’m not sorry. It allows me to update my skills and ask good questions. My goal is to learn. “
Similarities with football
At the barracks with his colleagues, Lavoie says he finds the atmosphere of a football team.
“We are 11 and 12 guys at the barracks and it’s akin to a football locker room,” says the one who has to complete a one-year probation period before becoming permanent. Like in my college days, we’re still together. As in football, we are indebted to our colleagues. You do not have the choice to ensure the rear of your boyfriend during an intervention. “
While there are similarities, Lavoie notes one important difference.
“In football we have a week to prepare for the game and improve. The intensity gradually rises. At the barracks, nothing happens and, all of a sudden, we have to put the switch to ” on ” quickly. It’s interesting, but completely different. It is special. You’re in the gym at 4 p.m. and an hour later you have your feet in the water and you’re surrounded by smoke. ”